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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  November 3, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. >> this week on "to the contrary" president obama regains solid support among women voters just before the election.
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>> hello, i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news a socl trends from diverse perspectives. up first, the last-minute scuffle for voters: the ground game. early voting. cell phone polls and women voters dominated the final days of the presidential race. a late week "new york times" poll showed the gender gap re-emerge knowledge in president obama's favor. 52% of women and 44% of men support obama. while the g.o.p.'s mitt romney has 44% of women and1% of men in his corner. women voters in battleground states are the coveted demographic according to two campaign experts. >> i think if you look at the president has done with the
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economy, it is very far reaching, just across the country women have access to capital to start small business, let's not forget his very, very first bill that he signed in to law was lily ledbetter fair pay act. it's a tremendous accomplishment. i think that shows his devotion and his commitment to women. >> first thing you have to ask is, what are women concerned about today, it's jobs, job security, opportunities for themselves and for their loved ones and in particular for their kidss there a brighter future. this is mitt romney's message to women to all americans. is that he is going to put in to place economic policies that will create growth which will create the jobs, be the ergy to small businesses start growing again. >> we asked the experts whether reproductive rights is a
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decisive issue for women voters this year. >> it is for the barack obama campaign. they think that's the way they're going to keep their women. suggest that women would vote about who's going to pay for their contraception, that is more of an issue than are my loved ones working, am i working, are my kids going to have an opportunity when they graduate from clege. >> the president especially lately, as of late, he has said, you know, look, he doesn't believe that men should be legislating women's bodies and he supports, uh, he really supports women in that way in making sure that they have what they need. with, you know, the different characters out there, making statements about rape and about abortion and how they feel about it and he basically says, you
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know, look, we should not be deciding that. >> and the experts' views on swaying undecided women voters? >> this election is about the future, it's about how we move forward. i think it is important for women to really get informed, look at these four people that we're talking about, talking about legislating our bodies figure out who is the right person for us. and to me it's president bra rack obama. nobody else can move us forward^. >> i would tell them to take a look at exactly where we are in this country today. what's the environment. economically we are extraordinarily troubled times. we have a president that cannot balance the budget, doesn't send a budget that gets any votes up to the hill. so that's what i would say that women who are undecided need to look at, how do we turn that around? the answer is to those concerns is to take a look at what mitt romney promises to do.
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>> why did the gender gap finally re-emerge in the president's favor so definitively in the last few days of campaigning. >> candidly, bonnie, i think it, quote, disappeared. because the president failed to mention women in that first debate. he has since made up for that and it shows in the gender gap. >> bonnie, look, fewer women have jobs today than they did under barack obama. more woman are in poverty, on food stamps, more children face larger debt than ever faced in the history of this country. real gap what president obama has promised women in what he's actually delivered and i don't think just because "new york times" says there's a new gap that there is necessarily a new gender gap. >> the gender pap has been consistent force in presidential elections since 1908 when it was first measured. >> there are different polls every week, about every week
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there seems to be different republican man talking about rape. >> you have to look at the trend of polls. six months ago obama campaign was touting 20% of gender gap that they have of women. now he only has 8% aboveomne thenou he to look what happened in 2008. obama got 56% of the women. now he's only getting 50. there's a loss in enthusiasm among women. you really have to look at the trend of the polls. >> loss as compared to four years ago but as erin pointed out the last few comments have come from republican candidates that have really energized the discussion about women's reproductive rights. are those, murdoch, et ceta responsible for this recent jump in the gender gap in obama's favor? >> i don't think so at all. more liberal women are paying attention to what murdoch was saying. if you hold all republicans
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accountable then old democrats accountable for what kirsetn simens say that stay at home wives were leeching off of their husbands which is unacceptable f. we're going to hold that to standards we can point out owl kinds of people in democrats or republicans. >> let's go deeper in women in swing states that poll is instructor. when you go out there ask women what is the most important issue facing women in the election, 39% of women voters in swing states say abortion much they say overall, what is the most important issue, jobs and economy. then specifically you look at contraceptions, something that is mentioned as side issue, when you talk to women in those swing states 60% say it is extremely or very important. interestingly men say that it's about 2 point percent gap underneath but still men say that it's important to them as well.
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interestingly as well, men in swing states also trust president obama more than mitt romney on matter of contraceptive. >> if i were driving the two campaigns, which i am not, but -- >> you are out there. >> i am conservative. >> working on the -- working on the ground game for conservative policies not on behalf of particular candidate. if president obama wants to spend last 72 hours talking about contraception, let him do that. but i don't think that's going to help him on november. the issue at steak here is the economy, whether you're a man or woman being able to have a job where you can buy your own contraception or decide not to, is what really matters. at the end of the day when somebody pulls a lever, i think that is what they think about i don't think -- very few women in this country think that mitt romney is going to try to take contraception away from us. >> let's go clear, democrats didn't raise these issues. what these republicans do by these -- tracking women's health
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issues they reveal what really lies at the surface. they say to women look who is going to come in -- who do you think are going to get appointed to the agencies by the next president that has to do with things that are as vital to you as women's health. and, look, this gap is interesting the way it's come back, i agree it's structural. one of the reasons it's structural is because ten million more people vote than men. that sets it- actually you can energize men more than they have been in the last year for elections, especially if you don't get some republicans also being for these overwhelmingly favorable women's issues. then that structural gap is going to remain. >> let me ask you, republicans have clearly emphasized mitt romney has emphasized the economy. one thing, i want to ask about
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this it's not been brought up much, the obama campaign has made strategic decision not t try to blame the economy on bush even though let's face it, most of the damage occurred just as he was leaving office. >> he had to come up with a new message. >> point is the economy tanked in late '07 or -- mid '08. obama president campaign not been trying to say this is bush's fault. but a lot of people recognize that there was clearly republican involvement there. i'm just wondering if women voters are more likely to say to themselves, i'mor the economy but i don't trust the republican guy because the economy tanked when a republican was in office. >> for one thing, look, i think republicans and democrats are both to blame for where our country is today. it wasn't one party that set up the $16 trillion debt. i think president obama put the
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pedal to the metal but both parties for blame. i think that's where we are as a country, we have two different choices. what mitt romney is talking about is economic plan is very different than what george bush ran on, george w. bush in 2000 and 2004 and i don't know that voter are saying that is the same old plan. i know president had suggested that, but i think what he's talking about is far different in terms of turning the economy around. i don't think voters are necessarily making -- >> the polls don't show. that polls show that voters, women and men blame the hole we got in to on george bush, you can't get away from that. >> you don't hear any talk about it between the two candidates. >> actually i do hear it. >> voters are smarters than most of the pollsters i have to say. they understand that it's not one man or one -- >> that's what that he say to the pollsters. i don't think you can avoid that. the reason i think the economy
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has -- as much as it should that he has made no definitive case for why he would be better. his so-called plan still leaves the very richest getting the very most. everybody knows that. he hasn't in fact come forward with something that really separates him from the bush years. >> i disagree with the whole recommend takes we're not hearing that obama is playing everything on bush. he says the last administration and blames them and republicans for almoster that is out there. i can't turn on the tv or hear -- without blaming everybody else. i totally disagree with that. for women it is the economy. we have four years of what president obama has put out there. he's been the president, he's been our leader. and today with the new jobs report 7.9% this is not the new normal. we cannot have unemployment. the president told us that after he put in the smulus we'd down to 5.6% unemployment. where is that? >> correction.
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the number of jobs exceeded what had been predicted and you are going to have the unemployment rate to tick back up a little bit. every time the economy looks good more people go on -- >> last -- >> 23 million unemployed. >> last word on this topic then on to the ground game. >> one of the greatest issues of our time, right now in our age, mitt romney has come out squarely on the side of greater income and equality stratification between very wealthiest and majority of people in this country. i think another piece that gloria stein ham noted that the pay tax -- women get equal pay in the workplace that we close that wage gap consistently 77% would be automatic economic stimulus. more than three quarters voters support that. mitt romney has refused to take position on it. he hasn't even said no. >> ground game. everybody -- no matter how great campaign you ran if you don't get your supporters to the mols you don't win. you have been in ohio working alongside the romney get out to
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vote effort. how is it going? >> we've been about 25 different states over the past year. i will say, bonnie, i haven't seen the conservative base whether you call that tea party, whether you call it regular, more energized than i've seen in this election cycle. that certainly been true in ohio. on friday of this week there were over 20% people who were showing up for romney event, my understanding was the president's event that morning in ohio drew about 3,000. that is a huge difference. ground game comes out of those things, those people come to rallies, they go out do door knocking, phone banks. my understanding of fks on the ground in ohio is republicans have had a larger turn out, get out to vote effort there than they have ever had. >> you know why? first of all, romney is at wit's end, he's going in to those counties where there are large numbers of republicans to try to make sure they come out because he can't get the other counties. he can't do that. that's why he's also going to
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some states that he hasn't played in. >> let me ask you, i have -- she talked about the republican effort, conservative effort. i hve heard, the media have been reporting that the romney ground game is minuscule or like a third of the size of the -- in terms of number of offices, in terms of numbers of volunteers compared to obama. i have a friend who was volunteering for obama in florida he said it's unbelievable he says very little activity on the romney side. even media are all reporting -- >> let me get -- i think that is clearly true. but let me give a little word of caution on that. look who republicans are. they are essentially middle and upper middle class white people who come out to the polls. look who our base is. typically people who need government most have worst turn
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out records by virtue of income and education. no matter what the election if they want to win. >> i want to consider -- they talk in terms -- we talked about this before the taping but they talk in terms of the ground game with democrats of this point, more offices, more personnel just having much -- >> like the -- >> republicans are spending their money on tv ads and democrats are spending on the ground game which democrats have decided this election is more important. i wonder if the republicans need as big a ground game because they have the churches. they have the pastors at the mega churches all over this country telling their parishioners, their members to go out and vote republican. >> churches are both democrat and republican.
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>> because they're working their butts off on ground. >> but i would say this for obama he's been campaigning for a year and a half. romney had very tumultuous primary, the president still can't move the needle. we talk about gender gap the enthussm gap, re youth, more women, more minorities are not coming out for the president as they did in 2008. that enthusiasm gap is lower. >> true. >> let's go to the numbers. because 93% of romney's bas are white people in this country. senator lindsey graham came out few months ago said, i think we're running out of angry white men. we have to expand our base. when you think about in terms of a ground game who is going to turn out, you do support obama much more likely than what you think about going out for free slice of pizza being motivated by president delivering you pizza. to a phone call or the candidate you don't see billionaires who
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are profiting from the policies but mitt romney is that are going to benefit from going out getting free pizza and door knocking. there is a different level of engagement because obama is -- >> does anybody have particular aspect of the ground game how it affects women voters? is it going to get more women out than men? how does that work? >> the ground game is extremely important in every election it's important to both parties. the fact is, mitt romney is in ohio, yes, trying to motivate the people that most likely go are going to vote for him rch few undecided voters that are still there. but first lady was in virginia on friday, where? two predominantly black colleges. if that vote is sewn up 72 hours out before the election. i think that is base they know they got to really motivate and get out. there's all sorts get out to vote going on not just parties but lot of other groups -- >> youth vote. are young people motivated if so
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for which candidate. >> backn 2008, 75% of youth were very enthusiastic down to 68% of youth who are enthusiastic. they're not finding jobs after they graduate from college, they have to move back home with moms and dads, the enthusiasm to vote for that hope an change that they saw before, they saw it was just bunch of the same they can't even find jobs right now. not as many youth will be out to vote. >> i've heard that exact thing numerous places around the country when the president shown up at college campuses the turn out has not been near what it was in 2008. >> you have to go back to the fact that the president is more popular with younger people. the enthusiasm is there, i think you also can't discount the fact that in 2008 we had president who was committed to ending very unpopular war in iraq which he successfully did. now we don't have that motivating youth. >> all right. let us know what you think. please follow me on twitter @bonnieerbe.
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or @tothecontrary. from the presidential votes to ballot issues. voters in four states will weigh in on same-sex marriage this election season. maine voters seemed ready to overturn a ban. washington state marriage equality ref arena dumb is now in a dead heat. voters are also plate in minnesota whether they will vote whether to amend the state's constitution to define marriage as a union between a woman and a man. is the idea of a voter referendum on this particular issue at opposed to courts handing down decisions or state legislators making law the way to go. >> whenever the opportunity that puts put before voters every single one of them has voted to keep marriage as a defined
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between man and woman. that is in 38 different states. most recent being north carolina which of course voted earlier over the course of the summer. we haven't seen a state yet when voters that have had the opportunity, yes, you have a state legislature put in to law, yes, courts set them when the people themselves, even in california, even in hawaii, even in most liberal places have had chance to vote they said we want marriage to be between man and woman. the polling on this it always ends up being larger majority for those favoring traditional marriage on the actual election day than what the polls normally show. if it's a dead heat in places like maine right now, my guess is, marriage is going to win. >> remember when and if the supreme court gets this case it is likely to go off on constitutional grounds. think for a moment. whether you want to vote on most of what the constitution today allows or prohibits. i'm not surprised.
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particularly i'm not surprised because almost all of these referenda came on very early before you saw the transformation we now see in the voting public. they came on who put them on. those who were always against same sex marriage. the people are only catching up to them now, i concede that this is one of the great transformations, issues of all times. it's not going to happen in one fell swoop but it is happening. >> i just think the country is divided. it's a very sensitive and very personal issue. i think that to deemize people who are for traditional marriage not because their anti-gay marriage is very unfair. there's people who hold those beliefs very close to them and you can't change what your religious beliefs are on that. it doesn't mean that you're anti-gay. as far as how it's going to
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swing for the owe look, three out of four of the states aren't in -- i don't think it's going to move the needle. >> something that we should be uncomfortable about every time it happens. >> why no. >> because putting people's basic rights up for a vote on the basis of disadvantage in society is really a scary thing. it's wonderful, actually -- >> you don't think we've moved particularly with younger voters have we not -- moved to an era where gay marriage -- they don't see a distinction, really? not like older voters. >> that's actually -- we're now at the point where we have majority in the country for first time who support marriage equality i'm proud to say that my organization was one of the first major organizations to come out and support of it. in the early 2000s people said we were crazy. now look at it. we've got vast majority of youth, ton of enthusiasm and support. one of these times we are going
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to win one of these ballot itiatives. it may happen, ts election cycle i certainly hope so because this is issue of civil rights and fairness. >> there are lots of folks who don't think it's about civil rights but special rights. everybody has right to marry. the question is do you have special right to marry somebody in this country, we say marriage is between man and woman, no, me as woman don't have right to go out marry two men or one woman. i can marry another man. my rights are not insinged, yours are not infringed gay person is not infringed they just can't marry somebody of the same sex. >> do you see it pat passing in maryland, maine or washington? >> these are not consevertive states. maryland is not a conservative state but i will tell you one of the things we've seen we've been around the country in places like maryland predominantly -- marriage is an issue that really crosses religious groups, it crosses ethnic groups, it's really a uniter rather than divider issue. you go to the marriage rallies sometimes half the audience is
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black, half white. it's an issue that a lot of different folks come together. >> quickly on this. >> this issue will b seen when it's ever decided as a constitutional right. we don't want people voting on our constitutional rights. >> it's coming to the court, i agree with you. coming to the high court. >> that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." please follow me on twitter @bonnieerbe and @tothecontrary and check our website,, where the discussion continues. whether you agree or think, to the contrary, please join us next time.
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